Sounds wonderful eh? Imagine you and your special someone on a cold, windy night (due to high altitude) sharing a small tent in the middle of God knows where – I mean forest, riverbank or waterfalls, where else?
You are both lulled to sleep by the sound of crickets (hope you know how to determine one), the sound of water and the warm body beside you as you drift off to dreamland. Pretty picture isn’t it?
But is it wise? Climbing mountains with your special someone – may that be your boyfriend/girlfriend, wife/husband or just the so-complicated relationship you have that some pontio pilato created, there are pros and cons.
I have met fellow climbers and guides who were more than willing to share stories of proposals, break-ups, suicide (Oops! don’t do this please) and ghost stories. I knew the stories were a bit exaggerated but when you are in the mountains they can be goosebumps inducing and are vivid real.
So lets delve into those pros and cons of climbing with your special someone:
♥ Discovering each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Either during or after the climb you’ll be shocked or be left mesmerized. Mind this as it will either reinforce your relationship or destroy it. You get to discover that the cool and composed man you’ve known can be easily irritated when the tent can’t be assembled and that the very feminine girl you have love has a strong will power or maybe she turned out to be whining a lot and acting primadona who sits around and never helps at camp. Maybe asked you for a piggyback during the ascent, damn!
♥ Sharing the hardship of the trail and the joy of seeing the sunrise on the summit.
There is a big difference than just watching the sunrise on a beach because the experience is a shared accomplishment. Sharing hardships sometimes strengthen relationships, that is why armies around the world train as a unit.
Also, the happiness of slowly seeing that beautiful sunrise reflected on his/her eyes is priceless (awww very romantic, please indulge me).
♥ Sharing expenses.
If you are married its double the expenses. Both should have agreed to put aside a savings/fund for climbs as to not stretch the family’s coffers and create an argument or problem in the future.
For boy/girl friend tandem, the two of you can split the expenses and save for the next adventure together.
♥ Chance to help each other and along the way discover the hidden talents of your partner.
(Wow, you know how to use a compass!) When you are in the city and everything can be spoon fed, you don’t get to discover your talent for adaptability. If married, it’s like rediscovering each other on a different setting and elevation. Win-win.
♥ Sharing a common interest and hobby.
You don’t need to climb the highest tree to get a cellphone signal and inform your worrying partner that you are safe and sound, that you’ve just eaten your dinner or taken your med for allergies. The wifey would no longer have wild imaginations wilder than the mountain. You both can take landscape photography as a hobby and compare your shots thus the bond that bounds you together gets stronger.
♥ Risk to life is always omnipresent during climbs.
When you cross a knife-edged trail, the adrenaline is at its peak and so love is because you are both putting your life at risk. Studies show that you’d likely fall in love or feel deeper connection during adrenaline inducing activities. But this is more of a disadvantage if you are married and have children. Should accidents happen and both of you lose your lives, the children you’ve left behind will greatly suffer.
When you are subjected to the elements without the comforts of home, things can happen. Climbing has its dangers and its joys, the risks should be discussed and agreed.
Let me share a sweet story, I have this couple as hiking buddies, they had an argument before one of our climbs over some petty things but they had to push through because it was already paid and they had made a commitment to us, their friends.
So at the meeting area, they barely talked to each other. Not even meeting each others gaze. The girl was seated at the end of the table while the guy is somewhere else. On the bus, they sat side by side but not yet in a talkative mood.
Everyone was walking on broken glass around them. But during the climb because of the arduous trail, they had to hold hands and help each other. The next thing we knew, they were laughing when they both slipped and landed flat on their butts.
Watching them, you’d want to hit them with your trekking pole.
Mountain climbing brings out the best and worst in us and for me a good barometer in choosing for the person you’d want to spend this lifetime with.
Good luck in climbing with that special person and see you on the next trail!